The President ended his first address to Congress last night on a markedly optimistic note. It got me thinking about the power of optimism and some of the hopeful things that might happen in the technology industry:
* I’m optimistic that when Snap goes public it gets the valuation it deserves. For Snap’s sake, lower will be better. A low valuation will seem like a disappointment. But it will give the young company room to grow and to address the serious competitive threats its faces without needing to deliver the impossible to demanding investors. More, an IPO that doesn’t pop isn’t a disaster. Facebook (FB) got off to an awful start, and it didn’t matter. People forget that Microsoft (MSFT) took years for its stock to catch fire. But it did.
* I’m hopeful that Jay Y. Lee will get justice in South Korea. The vice chairman of Samsung Electronics and the third-generation scion of the family that has led it for nearly 80 years is a good man who may or may not have broken his country’s laws. What’s certain is that he’s being prosecuted in a highly politicized environment, which must be frightening.
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* I’m optimistic that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick will learn and grow from the very bad year he is having. Customer desertions, accusations of institutional misogyny, and now his insensitivity to drivers have rocked Kalanick’s world. He’ll either adapt to the circumstances or someone else will lead Uber. Yes, I’m publishing a book about Uber this spring; I’ll have a lot more to say soon.
* Underdogs everywhere should find inspiration in the quiet redemption of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), the semiconductor industry doormat for years that has made a massive comeback against longtime foe Intel (INTC). In the technology world you can be down for years without being out.
For more on business optimism, watch:
* Apple (AAPL) is having a moment and has found itself a new fan in Warren Buffett. Wouldn’t it be great if Apple surprises the world one day with a product as breathtakingly new as the iPod and iPhone once were?
Have an optimistic day. It beats the alternative.